Day 58-59: Back the fuck off from my puffer fish

Trip Start Jan 10, 2013
Trip End Jun 06, 2013

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Guanacaste,
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 56:

Last day today before I get four days off to do a visa run! Now I could have made it easy on myself and gone to Nicaragua, which is really close to us. Instead I have decided to travel to the other side of the country and go to Panama. Which will take me a day to get there and a day to get back, clever. Anyways I'm back in Villa Sol with Maurin today. Standardly we were rushed off at the last minute and I had to run into the car. Maurin thought I had the key, I didn't and Carlos had apparently put the spare on his own keys, helpful. We therefore had to sit outside the office whilst a taxi bought the key to us all the way in Hermosa. That will be coming out of the tips then.

Villa Sol is a lot of fun with Maurin and we spend most of the time laughing, I have also come to appreciate it more as I do get to sit in an air conditioned office all day and I get a TON of work done. Which is always good. One downside though is Brian, the manager, who is kind of like a posh hotel nazi. Basically the lunch room for the staff at the hotel is as hot as the centre of the sun and although they're a "5* Resort" they apparently can't be bothered to provide their staff with a few measly fans. Therefore we usually go and sit on these hidden away sofas in our break. Today however Maurin had been in the pool so she didn't want to get them all wet, so she was being nice to the hotel effectively. We therefore went back to the pool and sat at the bar, which is the ONLY shade at the pool. I had taken off my work t-shirt and basically looked like a guest and was writing on my ipad when we got a phone call from Brenda. Apparently Brian had rung her moaning that we were sat at the bar and that I was on my ipad. I mean come on it's not like i'm doing coke off the bar or anything. Maurin was super pissed because it really is the only shade by the pool and she doesn't want to sit in the boiling hot sun all day. Basically we've decided that shade is only allowed for paying guests and this is basically like a posh auschwitz for the staff because you can't do ANYTHING. I got told off for eating a freaking orange by the pool for heavens sake. Does he really think that would offend his guests?

We went back to the shop where I am closing with Brenda today. She wants to get more young people diving and into Coco's so I suggested doing a hostel/dive package, which apparently they already do. Need to get on promoting that then! I also suggested doing a surfing and diving package, as a lot of backpackers come to Costa Rica to go surfing. This way we could potentially get more people diving with the packages. I've also started to do a True Facts on marine animals (a la ZeFrank -check him out on youtube) for the rich coast page. It's already proved pretty popular. Check out my shark one if you haven't already :)

After work I went out with all of the IDC people and Martin and Brenda for a few drinks. Here I was firstly told I was going to have to demonstrate all 24 open water/skin diving skills in the pool on Monday. Say whatttt? I wouldn't mind too much but as I've been doing my dive master reading I have discovered that I have apparently not been taught at least 6 of the skills that are mandatory for open water. So they didn't teach me free flow regulator breathing, equipment removal underwater and so on in my open water in Thailand. Also no navigation, could have used that one! I also heard the most horrid thing ever while we were out.

Now this is my own personal diary and free speech and all that so I am happily going to name and shame this person. Plus you know it's not libel if it's TRUE. Basically there's this instructor that works for Diving Safari's, another local dive shop that my roomate Taylor actually works for (I feel I have to say she didn't tell me this by the way). The instructor, Jackson, is well known for touching pretty much anything he comes into contact with under the water. In fact he wears two pairs of gloves, which FYI are banned in Playa Coco's. On this particular dive his student told us that he was 1. playing with a scorpionfish, poisonous, but not so much if you're wearing two pairs of gloves, 2. he was aggrevating a ray (a la Steve Irwin) so it would shoot off from where it was relaxing in the sand really fast. Unfortunately it did not turn round and stab him in the leg, and then 3. This one has made me the most angry and has actually really upset me. It involves a sweet little puffer fish, which I absolutely adore. They're incredibly cute and are always cuddled up with each other in the rock cracks. Adorable. Anyway Jackson decided to pick one up, stress it out so much that it puffed up and then proceeded to play with it for his student like it was just a balloon or a football. NOT. Cool. Puffer fish by the way DIE when they've puffed up several times. So not only is he being a complete ahole anyway by playing with marine life to begin with but he has potentially killed that poor little puffer fish or sent it on it's way anyway. I was so upset for the poor thing and my heart literally ached for it! Divers especially are meant to protecting the marine enviroment not fucking about with it to show off to people and then teaching them that they can do the same too! They actually have a bad review on trip advisor because the same instructor, Jackson, was poking an octopus trying to get it to move out of it's hole. This was a year ago and he clearly doesn't care that he's already been warned about it before. Unfortunately I can't personally report him to PADI because you can only do it for what you have personally witnessed something not hearsay. Hopefully the management of Diving Safaris will do something about it because he obviously has not listened to previous warnings and that kind of person should not be a fucking instructor. I'm open to possible suggestions about what I can personally do about it! No murder is not an option people lol

After all of this I went home and packed for tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing Marcelo from the sloth sanctuary tomorrow in Puerto Viejo too, will be nice to catch up!

Day 57:

Well someone had to get up at 2:30am after three hours sleep and then walk all the way to the bus station with all of my things and a hula hoop. Yes that person was definitely me. I actually made it all the way into town (a 20 minute walk) before I managed to find a taxi. My driver was definitely drunk and literally did not understand a single thing I said, but hey ho I made it in the end! Most importantly I made it alive! Thankfully I managed to sleep most of the way and I should have easily of made my next bus at 10am. Unfortunately my 4.5 hour bus took SEVEN hours because today, of all days, the sodding taxi drivers decided they were striking and blocked the roads into San Jose. Mother Truckers. Seriously they're only inconviencing people like them not the people they're trying to piss off. So I missed that bus and had to wait two hours for the next one. Instead I ended up having a proper Costa Rican breakfast with two Canadians I was helping in the bus station, so that kept me occupied for a bit! Next I got on the bus to be told we weren't going to leave until the strike had cleared, GRR. Luckily we left fairly soon after we boarded but unluckily I was sat next to the creepiest guy EVER. I don't know how I always manage sitting next to the weirdos or the perverts. Basically I had zero personal space as one of his arms was occupying a third of my seat, like unecessarily far over. He also kept using said arm to kind of rub at my side. Vomit. Then on the occasion I would turn around he would just be staring at me and once or twice rubbed my arm with his fingers...After this had happened a couple of times I turned round to find him staring really intently and suggestively at me. AGH. What a weirdo seriously. Wonderfully both seats in front of me were free so I ran away and sat in those.

We finally arrived in Puerto Viejo (I got there about 5 hours later than I'd planned, thanks for ruining my day taxi drivers!) and I went and found a hostel. I wandered around for a bit before I went to meet Marcelo and as I was waiting for him to get there I randomly saw JP, who works at Rich Coast occasionally, with his Canadian girlfriend. It was really bizarre to see him there, small world and all that. Marcelo eventually arrived and Becky, the biologist working at the sanctuary, was with him! I was definitely happy to see them both and it was nice actually spending time with Becky as I had to leave the sanctuary pretty much as she got there. We ended up going to Manzanillo for what was meant to be 40 minutes and ended up being a few hours. Eventually Becky (in Marcelo's car, he was being a big baby about her driving :P), drove us back to PV for food. Whilst we were just sat at the pizza place, at 1:00am, Marcelo just vanished for an hour. Becky, bless her, really wanted to go back but couldn't really leave and I was also knackered from all of the travelling. He came back and decided he wasn't going home yet and so Becky had to lock herself in his car to nap. I wanted to stay with her but she was adamant I went home, I still felt guilty for leaving her sleeping in a car in the middle of the street though! At 5:30am she rang me and Marcelo still hadn't come back! I told her to wait half and hour and call Judy at the sanctuary as Becky is meant to start work at like 7am or something. It was a nice night though and it was really nice to see them both. They gave me a little catch up on how everyone was and who had unfortunately died (Mojo died poor thing). God I miss those sloths, it was horrible driving past the sanctuary and not going in.

Off to Bocas tomorrow, proper beach time woo!
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